Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Arigato" and "kansha"

"Arigatou" is one of my favorite words.  We say "arigatou" to express our feelings of "kansha"(gratitude).

When I say "arigato", nothing is in my mind, but I feel warmth in my heart, thinking of someone or something who has touched my heart. I am so sure that everyone says "arigatou" with a SMILE.

What I'd like to share with you today is the original meanings of kansha and arigato in kanij, which touched my heart when I learned about them.

Kansha consists of two Kanji CHARACTERS; KAN and SHA, as you can see below.
First, let me explain the meaning  of each one.

Kan means to be moved, or to feel.  
Kokoro is "heart".

Sha is to express thanks, or to apologize.
Iu means to tell, say or express.
Iru means shoot.

Arigatou has two kanji characters: aru and nan.
Aru means to exist and nan means to be difficult.
So, Arigato's ordinal meaning is that it is difficult to exist or it is rare and precious to exist.

What touched me? is difficult for me to explain in English, but if I try, these original meanings gave me the following sense: 
Living in this world in this moment is rare and incredibly precious. We are not alone in this world. We are connected to everything around us; family, friends, society, world, nature, universe.  We are alive with gratitude to everything around us.

I also find this saying "arigato" to be a beautiful cycle of energy.
We are moved by someone or something, and express our thanks or send them our gratitude. This is never one way. When you say arigato with a smile, the energy of your smile reaches someone else and will be returned to you someday.

Thank you so much for reading my writing today. Arigato:)


  1. I love this. Beautiful and simple. And I love the power a word has from the associations we have in our hearts and minds from it. And I loved what you said about arigato being a kind of energy. I've been thinking lately that the smallest good things have power to jape the world with the energy they send out (and that I need to be more careful as the same is true in a negative sense from the smallest unkindnesses and impatience, etc.)

  2. So beautiful, these characters are so beautiful at first sight! And when you explain them, they take on so much meaning and depth. It is never simple, is it? Understanding these characters seems to be a process of understanding several meanings in one. It is like putting things in perspective and realizing that things are both opposed and reconciled at once (like what you explained about meaning 'precious' and 'difficult' for example). Sachi, one day you have to explain what's the difference between kanji and hiragana and katakana, I don't know what differenciates them. I've said that already, but I find there is such depth, subtlety and refinement in your culture! Arigato, dearest Sachi. :)